tv Today in Washington CSPAN May 11, 2012 2:00am-6:00am EDT
>> thank you. >> the evidence i shall give shobi the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. >> your witness statement is dated the first of may this year. if you looked at the last hurrah of, you will see a signature which is yours. the statement is given in light of the ongoing investigation. is that right? >> yes. >> you started working as a journalist in 1989. is that correct?
>> yes. >> you edited a column. in the year 2000, you were deputy editor of "news of the world." in january were appointed and now editor. on the 26th of january, 2007, you resign. in june, we will come to the exact date when you give evidence, you were appointed director of communications to the conservative party. is that right? >> yes. >> you started work in to buy, and after the next general election, you were appointed director of communications at downing street. is that correct? >> yes.
>> can i ask you this general question first on? there are reports you were keeping a personal diary with relatives of sense -- with relative eents? is that correct? >> no. >> you have had to rely on memories. are there other documents you have had access to that might have existed? >> there are some notes. >> these are manuscripts or computer records the amount >> notebooks -- fees are manuscripts or computer records
the amount >> notebooks. >> you have been arrested with connections, so i will not be asking questions on those matters. can i ask you some background statements? it is clear you were best friends with rebecca brooks. is that true? >> yes, we have not spoken in a long time. >> can i ask about your relationship? how often did you speak to her? >> i think the social meetings we had, but we would talk now and then. i would not say we spoke every week. there were times when we did not speak for quite some time. i would say over the time regularly is the word i would
use. >> did you communicate by text message? >> occasionally. >> i e-mailed? >> occasionally. >> wouldn't be fair to say you knew what each others' respective political standpoint where? >> it was pretty clear. as for her, she was supportive of the labour party. she was chief executive when the sun change its allegiance to the conservative party. as to her personal views, how she voted, i have no idea. >> the you have any insight? >> beyond the odd conversation, i guess the question how she would vote, i have no idea.
>> was she someone you felt was close to politicians? >> i think through the course of her work she was close to politicians. >> i will come to the. when you took over in 2003, which aspect did you want to change? >> i do not remember wanting to change in the cultural aspects. the main change are instigated was a cosmetic one. i wanted to redesign triggered strikes -- i wanted to redesign. >> are there any differences in culture? >> the pace is very different. the atmosphere is different on different days of the week. if you try to find a comparison
between news of the world and the sun, it is a saturday, because that is the day you are producing the newspaper. >> you are dealing with rupert murdoch as editor, so we are looking at 2003 until 2007. about how often would you speak to him? but i cannot put the number on it, but he would call on a saturday night, and sometimes it would be a couple times a month. i think i would describe that as a regular -- irregular, and always a saturday night phone call. aside from the occasional news international meeting when he was in london for when i would go to new york for the budget discussions.
>> end of the content, what was he interested in? >> in terms of specific content i do not remember any conversations about a particular part of the paper. we did talk about sports pages. the company made of a big investment about expanding the size of sports coverage, and that was a fundamentally important part about the mix to the paper, so i am sure we discussed that, and we discuss politics in general, and he would give his view on whatever was in the news at the time. >> he tried to buy but i did not succeed. wasn't he interested in scoops? >> i might tell him if we have a good story when we were planning on running that night, but not
always. >> wasn't he interested in stories but might impact success of the newspaper? >> sport is a good example. in terms of driving the news of the world, the sport was crucial, and it had an impact on physical production, so i remember having that conversation. "news of the world" invested in new presses, and i was concerned about the impact on sports coverage. i remember discussing that. >> you are bringing the conversation around to neutral subjects, such as sport.
did she ask you questions directly about circulation figures? and during sporadic telephone calls, from new york presumably, on a saturday, did he intend to ask you, "how is the circulation going? >> not always, no. >> but often? >> i remember occasions when he did. but i would not characterize it as the main purpose of the call. quite often, he would not mention it. >> both you and he were aware of the factors which might impinge on the circulation of the paper, correct? >> my job as editor was to produce a successful newspaper. >> would you said you discussed the political issues of the day, were these general discussions about political issues, such as european referendums, or whatever it might be? >> yes.
europe was not as big an issue for "news of the world" as for a daily paper, but yes. >> and did he discuss how politicians were doing? >> on occasion, yes. >> did you have a sense he wanted to find out how political opinion in this country was moving? >> i do not recall a specific conversation in that way. >> but in general, mr. coulson. i am not asking for a specific conversation. but did you have that sense? >> i might, in the course of a conversation, offer a view, but normally related to a particular issue rather than the longer- termed picture. >> during 2003-2007, were you particularly interested in politics or not? >> yes. >> and although your paper may not have adopted a position,
your personal physician throughout has been pro- conservative, was it not? >> was supported labor under my editorship of "news of the world." >> but your own personal -- >> how i voted? >> i would not ask you something so personal as how did you vote. but what was your general perspective on things? was it generally speaking conservative? >> i think that is fair to say. >> do you feel as part of your job as editor, in any event, to assess the mood of the country and how the country would vote in the next general election? >> my job as editor was, as best i could, establish where the leadership was in terms of politics and certain issues. >> to leave or to follow? >> i think to try to reflect,
sir. >> sold in that sense, to follow? >> more follow that lead, i would say. -- follow than lead, i would say. there were some causes, as an editor, you would want to champion. generally speaking, a successful newspaper is one that is in tune with its readership. >> some things you cannot get them to do, but there are some things you could get them to do, if the cause was right? >> them as in politicians or the readers? >> readers. >> i do not think you can get the reader's to do anything other than try to buy the paper. >> you have to have an understanding of where they are so that when you decide that you do want to promote a particular cause, to go into leadership
mode, that it is sufficiently in tune with where you know they are that it does not cause you trouble. >> you want the two to be aligned as much as possible. >> of course, the exercise tends to be unscientific, because you have a large readership and a range of opinions within that readership. >> that is right. >> to you take opinion polls on a rudimentary basis of your readership? >> pretty rudimentary. there was some market research i would occasionally get access to. >> would you describe your relationship with mr. murdoch as being more more something different? >> i was an employee. i thoroughly enjoyed my time working for him. in the sort of interactions i had with him, he was warm and supportive.
>> warm toward you, and vice versa? >> of was not particularly close to him in that regard. i would not want to overstate it. he was supportive to me as an editor. i enjoyed working in his company. >> there are rumors that you turned down the editorship of "the daily mirror" from the resignation of mr. morgan. if you did, that might reflect on your loyalty to mr. murdoch, but did you? >> there were conversations toward the possibility of me becoming the editor of "the daily mirror," and i chose not to do so. >> the 1 general election which came in your watch was the 2005 election. in the end, you decided to continue the paper path support of tony blair, but why in the end -- to continue the paper's support of tony blair, byut why
"in the end"? >> there were a number of conferences. my team and i decided to support tony blair. >> did you feel he would probably win that election? >> it was not the key factor in the decision. the key factor in the decision, as i touched on earlier, was that i felt "news of the world" best interests would be served by tony blair. if you read the lead up at the time, i do not think it was wildly enthusiastic. i think on balance we felt that was the best way to go. >> you say you reflected the mood of the country at the time, i suppose. >> possibly. >> were you surprised who might win that election?
from their political editor, for example? >> in terms of advice, some pretty detailed conversations about it. that would certainly have involved the political staff. i was keen also to involve members of staff who did not work in politics, who did not understand westminster, who were not immersed in the world, people who worked in different departments. >> did you have discussions with rebekah wade about it? >> i do not think so. in terms of the editorship of " the sun" and the editorship of "news of the world," there were different papers, and there was a clear line between the two. there was a rivalry between them. i certainly do not remember any conversations with rebekah about that issue. endorsement would
be a surprise? >> i did not have any conversations about it. >> did you have a conversation with rupert murdoch about it? >> i might have after the event. i do not know. i do not remember any more. >> wouldn't you want to find out whether what you were doing was contrary to his viewpoint? >> i did not have a conversation with him. i do not remember one. i do not think it happened about the 2005 election. i followed my own path. i do not feel, sitting here now, that i was pushed, in courage, or told to go a certain way. i remember the process quite well. i was determined we would spend a reasonable amount of time with politicians from both parties, and we would make up our own minds. >> a move forward to october
2005, a conservative party conference. there were candidates standing for the leadership. you testified in your statement that you met mr. david cameron there, at a dinner. do you recall? >> yes. >> was he your preferred candidate for the leadership? >> certainly at the last stage. i have taken the time to look back at some "news of the world" editions around that period, and i do not think "news of the world" ever explicitly supported mr. cameron, or explicitly supported anyone. we did employee mr. william hague, and he expressed a preference. he went to work for him later. >> from a personal perspective,
was he your preferred candidate for the leadership? >> i do not think i formed at that stage a clear view. i found a leader from "news of the world" where we suggested it was his to win. i have up on anything to the contrary. i think that is as far as it went. >> between december 2005 and january 2007, was the news of the world clearly moving toward endorsing the conservative party at the next election? >> i do not think so. "news of the world," under my editorship, came up with the line "hug a hoodie." i do not think that is the case. >> paragraph 34 of your statement, you talk about the
agenda for your meetings with politicians at around this time. you make it clear at no point in any of these conversations was the potential support of "news of the world" discussed, or any commercial interest. you mean news international, do you? >> yes. >> you said this could impact on the press and more generally. there are conditional agreements, sentencing, those sorts of issues. >> i do not recall doing so. >> human rights acts. was that a frequent topic of conversation? >> that may have come up in conversation. it is possible. >> in the context of the human rights, were you in the camps
that freedom of the press would protect the privacy of individuals? >> i believe in freedom of the press. >> if there were conversations about the human rights act, it is clear what your position would have been in those conversations, is it not? >> i certainly believe in the freedom of the press. that much is true. >> in the same period, as regards your dealings with politicians, would it be fair to say it was a clear subtext to your dealings with senior politicians of all three main parties that they were keen to know whether the news of the world would support them? >> no. the explicit issue of "will you support us" was never asked of me during that time.
directly, no. >> subtext is the way i put it. >> i think politicians from both sides, in those conversations, were seeking to get their message across and hope it would be received by us in a positive light. >> usually, in human interactions, one knows what the other person wants out of one. it is subtext, in your conversation with politicians. >> the agenda for me was to work out, in the course of a conversation, whether or not the party or the politician would best serve the interest of "news of the world" readers. i had some ideas of what constituted that. >> de you think the politicians you spoke to knew that you were
the conservative party supporter? >> i do not know. >> you had a conversation with mr. brown in 2006 at the labor conference in manchester. you describe that in paragraph 36. >> yes. >> the labor conference in manchester that year, we knew, because it was announced, that mr. blair would be leaving within the year, and in all probability mr. brown would be the next prime minister. would you agree? >> i think that was a given, yes. >> he said to you -- you say, "i remember that meeting well. mr. brown told me he had it on very good authority mr. murdoch would appoint me as the editor of "the sun" when rebekah was promoted." do you see that? >> yes. >> he was telling you it was already rupert murdoch's decision that rebekah wade would
be promoted and you would be the next editor of "the sun." >> i did not believe rupert murdoch would have had that conversation with him. >> why not? he was close to mr. brown, was he not? >> my understanding of how news international works, in terms of appointment of editors, is that it would not have involved the conversation at that stage. it was sometime after that rebekah was promoted, quite some time. i did not believe it. i believed it was an attempt by mr. brown to sort of impress on me his closeness to mr. murdoch. quite frankly, i did not believe it. >> but it was certainly an attempt by mr. brown to impress on you his proximity to mr. murdoch. that is clear. that is the strong message he was transmitting to you.
but his predictions were right, were they not? >> i did become the editor of "the sun." >> if certain events had occurred, it might have. but rebecca-- rebekah was promoted. >> at some time, yes. >> you refer to mr. osborn. you said you met with him in 2005. did you get on well with him? >> i got along fine. we did not spend a lot of time together, but i remember having a cup of coffee with him at that conference. >> you deal intergroup 38 specifically with a story which was published in -- you deal in paragraph 38 specifically with a story that was published in "news of the world" in 2005. can we understand the context?
did "the sunday mirror" published the same story? >> i am not sure when i was aware there would publish the same story. >> on the same sunday? >> yes. >> and you could anticipate that "the sunday mirror" would be hostile to mr. osborn, did you not? >> i knew they were publishing it, so i did not give it any thought. i think it is a given that "the sunday mirror" is a more left- leading newspaper, and as a consequence might be more critical. >> you knew "the sunday mirror" had the story. you knew they could only publish it on sunday. on the event they published it the same sunday as "news of the world," it was pointing to the same date, was it not? >> i am not sure at what point i knew they had the story. >> the story, stripped down to
its bare essentials, was capable of being harmful to the interests of mr. osborn, self evidently. >> it certainly was not helpful. >> your editorial stance on the story was fibril to mr. osborn, was it not? on page 20395. october 18, 2005, splashed over three pages. it contains all sorts of detail. i do not think it is necessary for us to go into now, but it is there if anybody wants to read it. you were effectively saying that mr. osborn should be given another chance, were you not? >> i think the leader was
saying that here is the information, here is what he says about it, make up your own mind. i think if i were to try to distill the message of the leader, "the tories fate is in your hands," i would say that is the leader column of "news of the world." as much as i would love to say the leaders i wrote for the most-read part of "news of the world," they were not. the first page "with a hooker" could not be described as career-enhancing for george osborne. the idea that we went easy on him is ridiculous. >> did you personally write this editorial? >> i would have contributed to it. quite often, i would have a conversation with another member
of staff, they would write it, and i would offer a view. sometimes, i would write them myself. >> was there an underlying evidential basis for the story? that is not the basis of my question. you say in the fifth line of the editorial that mr. osborn was a young man when he found himself caught up in this smoky world. you say a bit later on, "last week, we said the tory leadership is cameron's for the taking. nothing since then has made us change our mind." mr. osborn was then to be mr. cameron's number 2. so this was putting a favorable gloss on quite a murky world, was it not? >> mr. osborn -- i do not think we should necessarily go into the details of the story.
but mr. osborn was not admitting to anything. these were the claims of a friend of a friend, as i seem to remember. that was the view form. i think probably as a result of a discussion with my team. that is where we ended up. i have taken the time to look at "the sunday mirror" leader. it does not call for mr. osborn to be fired. it is fair to say it is more critical, as you might expect. but it certainly does not suggest that it would be the end of his political career, by any measure. >> wasn't it a classical example? let me put it in these terms. "news of the world" could not resist the scoop of a great story. but then they lost it in the editorial, and put perhaps the
most favorable interpretation that could be put on the story. >> i do not think it is. if you are looking for an example of "news of the world" being helpful to the conservative party, this is a pretty poor example. what matters here is what is on the front page, and the headline on pages four and five. i look at the front page now and am reminded that, had we not had a dvd promotion this day, the story would have been twice the size. that's all i can say. compare that to the leader column. a do not think it holds. >> would you have buried the story altogether if you had not known "the mirror" were going to splash it? >> certainly not. >> the free dvd was all about "little britain."
that takes up half the front page. you can see the other half. it is a standard "news of the world" splash. >> i do not know that it was standard, but it was a "news of the world" story, a "sunday mirror," story, and other newspapers followed it. it still gets a reasonable amount of coverage in "the guardian puzzle -- guardian." >> january 2007, you resigned. whether discussions before the resignation? >> there was the conversation about my resignation. >> did you have conversations with mr. murdoch before you resigned? >> no. >> you concluded your severance agreement, described as a compromise agreement.
the narrative starts at page 02379. we can see it is dated february 26, 2007. do you see that? >> yes. >> which i think is exactly a year to date -- i am sorry. a month after you resigned. >> i resigned two weeks before i actually left. the conversation i mentioned it took place two weeks before i left the building. >> you were not resigning on the basis that you would walk away from any benefit to might attain. you and thought you would lead eventually. >> it was my decision. there was not in negotiation or discussion about whether or not i would or would not. i was very clear that i was going to resign, and i did so.
>> clause 3, you received both payment in lieu of the employers contractual. , and compensation for termination of employment. so there are 2 you a separate trenches -- tranches. the last is paid in 2007. is that standard practice or not in severance agreements of this sort? >> i have never resign before, so i do not know whether this was the format that was followed. i am told that the separating out of payments in this way is a reasonable standard practice, but i am not an employment lawyer, so i cannot be certain of that. >> there is reference in the agreements -- a rather
complicated clause. it effectively means that the stock units which were going to vest in new in august 2007 would continue to best in you, notwithstanding your resignation. do you see that? >> yes. >> as of that stage, did you also have stocked in news international, as opposed to news corporation? >> i had shares in news international, which i think i sold it before i left the company, before i resigned. there may have been some shares i had around this time that i may have sold immediately. >> can i be clear -- apart from the restricted stock units which would vest in august 2007, were
the shares or stocks either in news international or news corporation, up by may 2007, in your possession? >> i do not believe so. >> there is a provision that the employer will pay any reasonable professional expenses incurred by you in relation to certain matters. that clause, i think, is subject to litigation in a court of appeal. >> that is right. >> under the last clause, 7.1b, you agreed, in consideration of a small payment, you would not make or cause to be made, directly or indirectly, any statement or comment to any person, including without limitation to the press or other media, which might impugn the good name or character of the
employer, any of its newspapers, or any associated company, including officers, employees, or shareholders. has that provision in any way impacted on the evidence you are giving a specs >> -- giving us? >> no. >> when you resigned from head editor of "news of the world," did you receive any commiseration from the star blair? >> sometime later, yes. >> mr. brown? >> yes. >> mr. cameron? >> i do not remember doing so. >> you were approached by mr. osborn in may 2007. this is in your statement. it was in march 2007.
>> which paragraph? >> herger 59. >> thank you. >> you met for a drink. he asked you, in effect, whether you would be interested in joining the team. it goes without saying that mr. osborn knew that your natural sympathies were with the conservative party. >> i do not know. you would have to ask him what his thinking was. certainly, he approached mei sae asset. >> i think it is pretty obvious that he did know otherwise he would have gone somewhere else. >> in any event, he was correct. >> did you know if anyone else's in the running for the job? >> no. >> did you know if anyone else
was later? >> no at a later stage after i started working for the conservatives i was told that there had been another bbc journalist to have been that had a discussion i think of mr. cameron quite some time that i was considered for the job. it did not work out. >> his name has come up in this context. what did mr. osborn say that you could offer the conservative party? >> the conversation was more around my views of how the party should organize its communications with the election. i gave my views.
>> what did you tell him tax c? >> i told him i'd you needed to .e professional pee have a good relationship with as many media ones as general. i told him later the conversation with mr. cameron that my firm belief with the television would play a crucial part in any general election campaign. the might be more so than it had done previously. >> you had no more political experience, did you? >> no. >> didn't mr. osborn at least thought yout he might bring to the table? >> i was the editor of a
national newspaper. i had managed the team. i had a hand in running a business i suppose in terms of the commercial aspects. i am sure these are considerations. >> i am sure this is the case that you were a good editor. you're taught from the you being the director of communications. >> i think this is a question for mr. osborn. the question was not this is why we think you're going to be great. i do not recall it that way at all picture it as a part did the
interview. at what point did you say are you interested in this job? >> i think it was clear that they were interested in hiring me. he said they were going to make changes to the professional set up. he will likely to meet mr. cameron. >> he identified you as the man? >> i didn't think he would have called me. >> this might have been an interview. let's ask him a few questions. we will go in and think of it. >> and did not know what was in georgia osborne's mind. >> you are a newspaper man. you're used to selling ideas and
stories. did do not see this conversation as selling yourself? that is what most people do and interviews. >> i went into it with a degree of reluctance. i was not really thinking about politics. once he met him, how did you would your view across the that it might be a good idea or maybe you did not? >> what i fell is that this is what the party needed to do to be elected. this touched on the print media. i remember very well saying to mr. osborne that television is
going to be hugely important. hardly a stunning observation. i was already thinking about the possibility of this. >> i presume you went along to think about it. why are they asking me to do this job? >> he said i want you to talk to and meet with mr. cameron. it went on and from then. >> your career in journalism,
you have the largest circulation in the united kingdom. now you're up to sending completely different. it doesn't pass through your mind what are they asking me to do this? >> something completely different. this is be on the stories you have alighted on. rain campaigns variate i came to be in tune with the leadership of the newspaper that is fast. those things i am sure were attracted. the route from journalism to politics, i was hardly the pioneer. there have been several people from their the history of politics that have gone from newspapers into politics.
>> even became director of human occasions. that may reject of human communications. -- he even became director of human communications. >> it is as appropriate. >> what about your connection to "news of tnews international?" >> there may well have been a conversation about the fact that i worked on "news of the world" and maybe we discussed some individuals in that regard. i do not really remember. i am sure the conversation would have touched on my previous employers in some way. >> you are close to mrs. brooks?
>> we are friends, yes. >> you also understood the viewpoints of the conservatives that had some sort of closing vote. >> that may have been a consideration, yes. >> they were ones which certainly passed through your mind. >> they would have done for mr. osborne. >> they did. i cannot tell you what he was thinking. in terms of my thinking, i went into the meeting. i did not see it as a meeting.
my initial reaction was slightly reluctant but i was intrigued. i have further conversation and decided that this was something i wanted to do. >> there were conversations. i want to ask you this simple question. did either france is more or and and llewellyn raise this case with you? >> and remember. it is possible. >> use said toward the end of may 2007, it day said the offer of this.
were you of for the job after the conversation which may have taken place? >> i think the conversation is the confirmation. it may well be in those conversation. in my mind, that conversation was the confirmation penn . >> he also ask me about the goodman case. can you remember the gist of your answer?
>> i was able to repeat what i said publicly. i said that thing about this case in terms of what they did. >> did the job follow that conversation? >> in terms of paper work, i cannot remember the exact time. >> can as the about the timing of their conversations with rebecca? if you said that that could be in may or earlier. >> i cannot remember the time. i know i told small number of
friends. i am sure she was among them. >> what was their reaction? >> i think she would have congratulated me. >> i do not remember her saying otherwise. >> >> do you know whether she had any influence over you getting the job? >> not that i recall. >> were there any conversations with her at any stage which might have indicated that she had an influence of you getting the job? >> not that i can remember. >> you say that he met mr. cameron, i am keen to understand this. appreciate this interview. by the time you're going to meet
mr. cameron, we know exactly what was happening. did you formulate in your mind and did you have to explain what it was the you were bringing to the parti? what skills to do actually bring to the parti? >> i am sure i tried to talk in the most favorable light of myself. i am sure i try and to do this. >> what i'm keen to understand is what it was a year able to point you in your history make up. i understand boasting. i understand that. this could be a sensible move.
>> you save the background may have been considered useful. it does not specifically discussed as being an advantage. >> it is my best recollection. i do remember explaining that my "news international" background was not suggested by either. it was introduced into the composition by me. my background should not therefore be seen as some sort
of guarantee of the papers. >> in might be a factor. >> my help in terms of connecting with "news of the world" readers, yes. >> also your personal connection. >> it would not hurt. i do not take the view that they would guarantee any kind of support. >> i am not talking about you expressing the view. i'm talking about the guarantee. >> my personal connections well beyond "news international." >> at this time, mrs. birk is becoming an influential person.
>> use influential before that. >> even before that? >> quite possibly. >> i did not know where she was in terms of for a career. >> i think it is fair to say, yes. >> politicians were keen to get close to her. >> it is fair to say that they want their message across. >> in order to get your message across, the best lightning rod was mrs. brooks. >> if you are a politician, you have the opportunity to talk to an editor. you will take it.
you'll try to sell yourself and your party in the best possible light. >> she has a personal personality. >> she has a strong personality. >i think i would say strong. >> action "news of the world" you said that you would not get it from that paper. he said he was more sympathetic to the labor party. >> i never worked with him. i cannot say with any degree of certainty. certainly from what i knew of him, and i knew of him briefly, he worked for another rupert murdoch paper in new york. we with each other regularly.
he was more likely to be left- leaning. >> you are discussing likely support of different newspapers. the message you were getting is beth "news of the world" was not in the back. is that fair a? i much i used those words but that is the essence. >> is important about "news of the world" might go at the next election? >> i'm not sure that david cameron ever said we have a "news of the world" in the bag. this is a conversation i introduced. >> you felt that he
might benefit from your insight? >> it went further and we discussed other newspapers. >> it is not just "news of the world". it is also the son. i told him that he should not. he understands that he is not him. >> i started that conversation. >> it was for mr. cameron, yes? >> circulation. quest not just circulation, it contained a significant number
of others did and did? >> within its circulation, yes. >> in terms of the most important newspaper, the son would always be there. >> if you wanted to look at it yes.erms of circulation, esp other newsa number of anothe tippers we needed to work hard to gain support. i did not look at my working day and analyze and based on circulation. at the a lot of effort in trying to secure it. i did exactly the same. i put a lot of work into it the daily telegraph. >> i am not sure i was
suggesting that you lavished this. >> all i was suggesting is that it was the most important. are we in agreement that lets in terms of circulation, yes. >> in terms of influence? >> i am not sure i buy the theory that a newspaper's endorsement will influence its readers directly in that way. >> do you think politicians buy into that very? >> i think that is a theory that is becoming less and less popular with politicians. >> at the time we're talking about the 2010 election. do you think politicians are still buying into its? >> we wanted the support of the sun and as many new savers as we
possibly could. we did not know when the election was going to be. work has to be put into it. >> newspapers or not the only focused by any measure about communications. television was fundamentally important. we were clear. that is a mechanism for communication. television was going to have to be impartial. >> ps. >> newspapers do not have that limitation. >> the compositions you have with a newspaper are different than the ones you have with the bbc. in terms of planning a strategy, where are the people that you wanted to try to have good relationships with, the people you would spend your time talking to and the way he would
try to get the best possible light your policy, the television was crucial. i would say as we got closer, i would say even more so. >> planning your strategy in relation to the print media, they went to one side. there are two key elements. you have to do your best to secure the support of the sun. are we agreed? >> yes. >> in order to secure the support, at the best way in was the record books. >> i would not describe it in that way. i was keen and that we had the relationships throughout the paper. four otheroes throug
newspapers. these figures do not work that way. you cannot rely on this. what the war attempting to do is build a series of relationships that we had something positive to say, you give yourself the best possible coverage. it was a range of relationships from the newspapers. >> you do not wish to endorse any particular newspaper even the eiffel the causes. even mention the "guardian." >> i had good relationships. i probably would not include "the daily mirror" in truth.
more importantly, david cameron to be viewed as we do this as possible. they had in el toro mountain to climb. we wanted to touch as many readerships as we could. >> " do you advise that he became as close as he could to mrs. brooks? >> no. >> did the work that out anyway? >> there is a family connection. burke is a constituent of his. they live relatively close. there is a fairly long established family connection.
that was the genesis of it. >> let's go back to the section about influence of papers having an outcome. above the second perception that there is supplied support that would be the director of favors tax there are issues and policies relevant to the issue. >> in the course of the election campaign, there were issues that a whole range of newspapers were considered to be important.
i will seek to maximize that. once in government, he got on with the business of governing. politicians keep their promises. we ended up with a coalition of government that made that a more complex process. >> we all got to close to it? had expressed you before it july 2011? >> i do not remember him doing so. >> you said that he almost have to meet with journalists because it was so important that you think he would have
preferred to be enjoying in that at home with his family. did he ever expressed disgruntlement to you that he has spent so much time with journalists and editors? >> frequently. >> there is a deeper problem here. they're getting too close to one newspaper group. >> no. that i recall. >> it follows that he must have been surprised that we all but to close to "news international."
but it came after a chain of events. did not know what his thinking was. a was not there. -- i do not know what his thinking was. i was not there. >> i was asking what your thinking is or was. do you feel the politicians got to close to "news international" or what? >> i look from the perspective of what they're not there was improper conversations or a dump that sits over this idea. i never saw a conversation that to my mind was inappropriate in that way. >> try not to look at this too literally. he denied many times there were no express deals. we're not talking about
inappropriate conversations necessary trade-offs. this closeness is unhealthy. >> the word on help the implies impropriety. i'm not sure i agree with that. i have been out of politics for quite some time. things are going to change. things have already changed. i think the process may have even begun. we were the first government ever to be transparent with the media. maybe the process is already started to enter into people's minds. >> transparency was not
introduced until july 2011. i think that we make public some special meetings with the media. >> that was in 2010. >> can i ask you to go backs to 45? >> at some stage, we ought to have a break. >> let's go do that. we'll give him a few minutes. >> thank you. [captioning performed by national captioning institute] [captions copyright national 12] >> thank you.
in august 2007, it was there. >> that was 45. >> is this right? when you tip of your job in june or july 2007, you had no shares of stocks in news international but in august 2007, they were invested in new? >> i think there is restricted stock units that were granted to me before i left at "news international."
the second set was a subject of this agreement. >> do you know the approximate value of the stocks? >> in preparation for today, there are grease values around 14,000 pounds. >> are these once sellable on the open market or not? >> i think so. >> why do you think you overlooked them? >> this is by way of explanation of excuse. my job was a busy one. my job was a skill.
i did to pay close attention to my own circumstances in this regard. i should have done it. >> did you discuss the existence of anyone in the conservative party or government? >> no. >> did you discuss their existence of any civil servant? >> no. >> paragraph 48 you deal with your vetting stages. do you happen to know what it was? >> i do now. i did not then. >> what is it? >> ssc. security check i think. >> is a step short.
it is the standard. >> if you have any unsupervised access to information? >> i might have, yes fed >> is to everett in meetings with the national security council? >> -- i might have, yes. >> have you ever had meetings with the national security council? >> it allows occasional access to top-secret paperwork and also with participation. quite sure i understand what you're saying in 2010. are you saying that someone thought this was an adequate ta?
>> there is a meeting that involves the communications around that issue or incidents. the view was formed. to be in that meeting, my status would have needed to be changed. i do not know what state that process was. i left in january. >> to be fair to you, if these are all massive for the government to sort out, and not for you. >> yes. >> after publication, july 2009, were any further assurances saw by mr. cameron or anyone else in relation to the matter? >> no. that i recall.
-- not to that i recall. between july 2009 and may 2010, if i can be your bearings, do you recall having discussions with "news of the world" as to who they would support in the next election? >> i do not recall specific conversation about the endorsement or the likelihood of endorsement. we would of had conversations arrau conference times. >> the means of securing their endorsement, who did that mean 3? >> for me it was about a broad range of relationships. making sure that we maximize the
>> you were aware a bet me presumably knew about the trip to santa rainy in 20008? >> i did. >> was something you had handed organizing? >> i was not involved in it nor did i go. i may have been involved in the logistics. >> this was something which must have please do in many ways. >> and certainly would that take in this rather than not. i did not form a vehicle that it .as the key moment car >> i'm us a real looking for the
key moment. it is a change in its approach and affiliations. it does away from labor and enforcement. >> we would have hoped it was an opportunity. it was an opportunity. i do not know what was said. i was not there. i would have seen it as an opportunity for david cameron to put himself and his party in the best possible light. i don't know what happens. i think he just told me that it went quite well. he went on holiday immediately afterward. >> you knew that it would take some time to get the support since it would come in relation to the timing of the next election? >> i did not know that. >i did not get involved in the sun's decision.
>> i am sure that is the question. mishaps i phrased it badly. you said you would take time to secure the support. >> it did take time. >> you knew that it would come from past experience. >> i certainly saw its as a long process. during my time working for the conservatives, there were ups and downs to say the least. did i have a plan that went to that date? there were times or we did not know when the election was going to be. through 2007 in 2008, it remains at times. in that regard, it was
certainly a long process. >> did know that some strategy would deliver this major prize at the appropriate time from the perspective of wood to be as close to the next election as possible? >> i am not sure i knew when they are going to do its. >> i am talking about more generally. >> would it be a big moment if they switch to? >> i think that is fair to say. although, in terms of shocks and if you look at the political history, the far bigger shock was returning to the conservatives. you could argue it was less of a shock. >> you say i am sure we
discussed a hit. that is the coverage becoming less coverage. we're now in the summer of 2009. >> i have not describe them as frequents. >> is rebekah taking the lead? >> i would not describe one as taking the lead. in terms of my attempts to make sure they coverage for the conservative party covers the headlines and what was going into the paper, that is the editor's job. i would have this come stations with him. >> union the ultimate decision of when to be made by mr. murdoch, a heavily advise buying rebekah brooks. >> i would have taken the view
that james murdoch had not taken a senior role at "news international." i would have taken the view that it was going to be a combination of use. obviously, rupert murdoch will play a part in that. >> we will however murdoch. >> i was the party to the conversation. i think it is fair to say that the three of them would have been involved. >> you knew this organization very well. you knew how they operated. were you hired because he understood them? they knew the way in would prove his son and rebekah brooks act that was the dynamic. >> when you say the way in, the way into what?
>> for the conservative party. >> it was an important line of communication. >> he was going to do as he was told. >> i do not accept that. and do not think i am in a position to say. i do not know what part it played. >> you have worked with him over the years. we have what some give evidence pim. you know that. >> i am not here to give the character assessment. i have no idea. you have a very disparaging view of show business. >> i am talking about personalities. it may be part of the picture here. >> i do not know. i am not suggesting the conversations with rebekah or
not in any way influential. i except that. i've also consider my conversations with dominick. and hope to have some conversations. i've not had any with james murdoch except a brief conversation with him. we met briefly for a drink. i do not have been regular line of communication to him. >> have you had the opportunity to watch for recall what mr. rupert murdoch said on the subject of political support both in relation to "the sun" "news of the world." >> said in a note. >> no. the phenomenal feat of memory.
i would be corrected if i am wrong, but in relation to new , and he saide world" he was really identifying with sun" politics and was something he was involved. i am not using his words. i'm using my recollection. he said some observations about that. his lack of interest in next, did you see that as evidence? >> i did. >> a what to know at that surprise you and whether it surprises you now? >> i hope i have not given inadvertently the wrong position. i am not suggesting rupert murdoch was not a fundamental part of the decision process.
yes i spoke to rebekah. i did not have this conversations in the belief that they did not matter. i was not party to that meeting or the discussions that took place. i do not know who was involved. i am sure that rupert murdoch was. i am sure he did a very clear view. >> would you agree with this that mr. murdoch's express it very clear view to require a markedly robust editor? >> bold move, yes. >> after the meeting, mr.
cameron must have been pretty happy? >> we had a brief conversation on the phone. yes, i think it was positive news. >> very positive news. >> my view was instinctively cautious. let's wait and see when and how it happens. >> you are instinctively cautious about everything. this was in the bath. >> in my mind, i was not going to see it as an absolute until i had seen the paper.
>> you had no idea when the news would break? >> i am not sure precisely when it would break. i did not play a part. i cannot recall once the labor conference had started. i may have been told that it was likely or not. i do remember being at home and seeing the television in showing the front page. that was the moment when i fell the paper was there. it had happened. as i say in my statement, i am not suggesting it was-. of course it was not. it was a positive force. at the risk of sounding and grateful, i thought becker does not the front page -- i thought it was not the front page i
would have wanted nor the timing. rebekah was trying to get a hold of gordon brown. i am sure should shrink to get ahold of you as well. >> i cannot remember if we had a conversation that night. i think i had a conversation with dominick after dinner after riots in the television. i cannot recall if i had a conversation in rebekah witrebeh that night. >> did you take any delight in knowing that the front page itself was after the services ta? the timing was rather delicious. proceed good timing, wasn't it? >> it has an impact. my interests were more selfish.
i was more interested in the impact of the conservative party. i remember still searching for the headline in this edition. i think it was in the subtext somewhere. i'm not trying to suggest that i was disappointed. i was not. i would prefer them to have done it in a different way. and a different time. i would have liked for them to have done it. >> we know there was a certain amount of pain there in the labor party.
does that surprise you? >> no. >> the conference would also be the case. no jubilation in the conservative party? >> i would not describe it as jubilation. it was not a bad day in the office. >> did do not feel that without belittling everything else that you were doing that you told us you were doing a lot that you had secured the major prize? >> i did not feel that way at all. >> that is a list of your
on the 30th of september 2009, there was dinner. that would be the date i thing the sun had in the labour's lost. do you recall that? >> yes. you have listed everybody he was there. >> i believe so. >> i suppose the mood might not have been universally favorable. we can see who else was there. i know i cannot speak for others. perhaps everybody else was pretty happy. yes. >> what we do not see is all the
telephone calls he might have had the people on your mobile a whatever. >> i look at the guest list. this is my recollection of who was there. i do not think anyone else was invited. that is something he might want to double check with others to read their. -- who were there. i'm pretty sure i am right. see the fed was in. a general politics discussion. you know anything more? >> i think it was the first time i met him. i think it was literally a hello. >> of dg under his -- what did you understand his role to be?
>> not brief. i did not know whether not to have a specific brief. it occurs to me that he did. he was the new corporate affairs one that went across the company. i did not know then what his specific news corp. was. >> you understood that he was the european lobbyists. >> i am not sure that i did. i saw him as a corporate affairs
executive. this is what led to his hands. he spent a lot of time in european politics. orid not have any real feview information about his role. >> what did you understand about him? >> from my experience, logistics, conferences, he might have a hand in organizing any functions. he would be involved in broader issues for news international. that is how i would understand it. not involved in editing. >> certainly not. it is all rather vague. he was a pretty high-powered executive. >> when i met him, i did not
give any thought to him being high-powered. i did not know -- i knew about news international after i left. james murdoch was there. there were a lot of people i did not know. i did not know where he fit into the hierarchy. nor did i ask. >> did you know whether he was someone who had frequent contact with government ministers or their advisors? >> i knew the corporate affairs person, he was likely to take on a roll along those lines. beyond that, no. >> with what end or too wet and was he taking on that role? >> -- or to what and was he taking on that role? >> i do not know. i did not have any conversations with him that were specific.
>> apart from this one conversation, with their other conversations with him? >> i looked at my itineraries. as i touched on earlier, he had a hand in organizing the lunch between david cameron and the former spanish prime minister. i do not recall whether he attended that lunch. later, in my itineraries, i have noticed another meeting with him. it had a line put through it. i do not remember it. i am assuming it got canceled. while still in government, i do recall talking to him in my office. i cannot find a formal record of that. it could be that he was seeing someone else or in the building with another meeting and pop in.
-- popped in. was a brief conversation as i recall it. >> before june, 2010, did he discuss with the news corp.'s intention to seek to acquire the remaining shares of b sky b? >> i did not recall any conversation along those lines. >> you as saying there was not a conversation or you do not recall one? >> i am sang i do not recall one perry >> when the bid was announced, was it a surprise to you? >> i am not sure i knew about it in advance. i would want to go back and look at the advanced to it. i did not know whether it had been flagged in the papers, where the level of speculation was. i seem to remember there was a fair amount of commentary in
advance. i may be wrong about that. that is my recollection. >> it is not something that was discussed with you? >> i did not remember any discussions with rebekah about it. >> paragraph 95 of your statement , met with him on a few occasions for coffee, including one occasion. >> yes. >> what was he doing on that occasion? >> i am sorry, what are you referring to my reference to the meeting? >> yes. >> as i explained, that is the meeting i am referring to. are we talking about the lunch
or the possibility of a meeting? >> i am seeking to clarify what we were talking about? >> the possibility of the coffee is the meeting and discussed -- meeting i discussed previously. the lunch was in opposition. it was some time prior to that in 2009. >> at that point, was he involved with news corp.? >> i believe he was, yes. >> was he on the board? >> i believe that is right. >> you say you cannot recall but it is possible he attended the lunch? it is your best recollection. with the affairs of news corp. discussed? >> nook. not as far as i remember. >> the remember what the discussion was about? >> it was about spanish
politics and british politics. the lunch took place in the house of commons. it was the first time they had met. it was a political conversation. >> it was the lunch that was organized. it was not one you organized. >> he played a part in it. >> in terms of the logistics of the lunch. when you got to demonstrate in may, 2010, -- to downing street of 2010, your salary was cut $140,000 a year. did you explore whether it was
possible for private donors to top of your salary? >> no. >> i think it is implicit. your salary was not topped u >>p. -- up. there was a >> payment paid to me. >> i understand, yes. you told us about the be scud-b bid. -- the b sky b bid. did you know what mr. cable's it was towards the bid? before it became clear it in december, 2010. >> i do not believe so. >> you do not believe so?
>> i do not have a specific memory. i did not talk to him about it. it had been reported that he had taken a view. that is possible, i suppose. through that means, through that route, yes, and may have been aware -- i may have been aware. i was not involved. save for my communications. >> there was a political storm of sorts on the 21st of december, 2010. you were involved in that. it is on your role. >> yes. >> did you speak to him that day? >> i do not recall doing so. >> did you speak to him about the bid any so? >> i did not recall any
conversations about b sky b. >> was there any conversation with any politician that saw whether or not to gain your -- the benefit of your experience in having worked for news international for the purpose of considering this bid? >> not that i remember, sir. >> we put this general point to you, bill and back to when you you edited the they ever "news of the world," plug sky tv programs? >> when there was a promotion, skype paid a price for it. it was bought as -- sky paid a price for it. it was bought as promotional space. that is the man crossover.
>> they paid the same rate as everybody else. >> i do not know. >> not given a favorable rate. >> i was not involved in that. >> can we look at aec is your4 meeting is in government. -- aec4 your meeting is in government. -- which is your meetings in government. we can see that when the coalition government is instituted, mr. cameron in thetes and players,, on -- ivitnvi of thetes and
players. rupert murdoch appears to be the second on the list. he mentioned the with their. i am not sure why. can you help us with that? >> i was not in the meeting. i did see him prior to the meeting very briefly. again, very briefly, after the meeting. i was not in the meeting itself. >> there is a fascination about people going in the back door. i you able to talk about that? would it be a red herring. >> i think mr. murdoch may have told you. i think that is how it happened under the previous administrations. i think it happened automatically.
>> would that be said for all of these people? there is a list of back door people and front door people? >> i do not kn storeow these other people came through -- do not know which door these other people came through. >> i have to keep myself in detained. -- entertained. [laughter] >> there may be nothing in this point. is there a system where some people come in one way and other people come in another way? >> there were parties where guests would arrive to the back door. in terms of the meetings, i have no idea which doctor became
through. had he asked to come through the back door, because he wanted to park his car there, i'm sure that would have happened. >> in government, was it ever part of your role or your practice to brief against particular individuals that have been alleged or against some of your predecessors? >> my job was to brief in terms of the politics. in terms of people's private lives, i do not recall ever doing so. >> i am using the word brief in the se of a disparagingnse tax . -- in the sense of a disparaging
context. >> i would not hide my political views. i did not believe i did that. >> in terms of the discharge in your responsibilities, -- of you discharging your responsibilities, informing people what the government is up to. you never seek to influence, to cajole, to brief in any of those activities. >> defined brief? apologies if i misunderstood, i thought the question was did a brief against people on a personal basis. i do not believe i did. beyond the politics.
did i have strong views? would i express those in conversations? about gordon gunn or labor politicians, labor policy? i think i probably would in the toe way that i saought articulate as positive a picture as possible for the conservatives. >> you have been an observer of political life. do you think the things i have been describing are an issue that need consideration or not? >> in terms of-briefing? >> yes. >> i think that came to a head. when we were in opposition. it resulted in some very
personal stories. stories which were published in news international paper's. -- papers. >> ok. tell me about paragraph 53 of your statement. is it in the second sentence that you got involved in policy -- you say in the second sentence that you got involved in policy. do you fear there might have been excessive interest in how policy would play out in the media?
>> possibly. it would be me as the person responsible for communications. >> is this a problem which is a significant one or one which was overplayed? >> i do not think it is, i did not think it is a significant problem. i think that political party is have to with the modern media fight hard to get their message across. also, there is a personality aspect in politics that has increased over the years. that requires a lot of attention. you saw to make sure alternative
uviews of david cameron were being expressed. that would require a lot of work. >> you left in january 2011 certain factors, we are not going to discuss. can you discuss your departure with rebekah brooks or anyone else? >> if i did, it was after i had resigned. i am confident of that. i am trying to remember the exact chain of events. as you can appreciate, it was a difficult time. i cannot be absolutely sure. i did not think i told anyone i was resigning until after i had
told the prime minister. >> you dealt with the case of mr. driscoll. he received compensation from an employment tribunal. the hearing was after you left. the hearing was in 2008. were any arrangements made or were you asked to give evidence on behalf of news international d. ngn limite >> no, i was not. >> did you have any awareness the case was going on as it was going on? >> i am not sure i knew about it.
it attracted some major attention once it got under way. i do not think i knew about it in advance of that. i do not have any recollection of knowing about it in advance. >> with the attention of rose, did you think, i can give evidence here? >> i was working for the conservatives at that point. i thought about this since, was it the right decision? i do not know. i took the view it would only make it worse. idid not have the view othat could impose myself on the hearing at any juncture. i am not sure at what point the damaging comments in the judgment were made. i think it is possible the damaging comments came at the conclusion of the hearing. by then it is too late anyway.
>> you appreciate it is important to let the litigation decide who they want to give evidence. >> that is right. >> my understanding is the tribunal does have a process by which they could have asked. it is difficult to see why a tribunal should do that. >> in a system such as the inquiry, that is controlled by the inquiry. in a normal form of litigation, the parties decide who they call. it would be wrong for the judge to decide on his own volition to do so absent of a very special circumstance. you have left records behind.
of your dealings with mr. driscoll, they were accessible. >> yes. i think some of those records formed part. i have asked is international to furnish me with all of the background to this case in terms of witness statements, my own involvement, anything else. they have not been able to do so because i am an ex-employee. all i have to work on it is the judgment itself. the extracts of my own e-mails and letters. >> you referred to in the decision. it is under attack at 11. the decision is intricate. you have had a chance to study it. the complaint by the arsenal
football club in relation to news of the world. >> yes. >> that culminated in the proceeding. in october, 2005, and a warning. .4, ou look at paragraph 1 0 the managing editor, he wrote to you an e-mail that the tribunal had the contest. he stated the situation was not black and white enough to dismiss mr. driscoll. he said, we could still fire him and pay the going rate for that. mr. dunn tells me, it cannot be
shut off. the outcome of the hearing was made with the agreement of the editor. is that accurate? >> it is accurate in terms of what you are reading. it is not accurate in terms of the wider framework of the judgment. there is a misspelling. the words were attributed to me. it is wrong. they are mr. don's word. >> is that not what this says? does it not say, he tells me. i think there is a mistake. >> yes.
my point, which may be off of your question, is it seems to form a fundamental part of the judgment. as coming from me, being my words. >> i am not sure that is made by the tribunal. all they say is the words come from mr. dunn, the decision was made with your agreement. >> the judgment says it is pretext that my desire was to "get shot of." i never said that. >> paragraph 105. they had issued him with a warning. they wrote a letter to that effect. he was informed of criticisms made of him. he believes and to be unfounded. they decided not to be -- to
appeal. the contents of his response to a very telling. he stated, i disagree with the adjudication. in my view, your actions merit a dismissal. is that what you said? >> yes. if i can add briefly, i would like to have seen the full letter before i was asked to respond. i have not seen the full letter. all i have to work on is the judgment. on the basis, i do not wish to go on about this, on the basis that the judgment could not get my quote right, i am not willing to accept their interpretation of it. >> we have established that what you believe it is attributed to you is not, it comes from mr. dunn.
>> i am referring to the latest judgment. >> they are setting out the citation from something you said. to pare fis what a stock to paraphrase what else here later said he went on to say -- to paraphrase what else your letter said, you went on to say, if there was any failings for the disciplinary action may have been used. you offered no words of encouragement. this was a bullying remark. the simple question is, that is a fair point. >> i do not accept that. it was a reaction to a letter that the defense copy to me. i was irritated by it. i would accept that my response was in temperature. i do not accept that it is appalling. in any event, mr. driscoll went
on to continue in his work in a very positive way. i think that is documented. i think he wrote to him after with a message that was positive. that was supported. i was happy to support him. >> the tribunal found that was not so. this was the start of a downward path. whereas in formal terms, what mr. driscoll received as a warning, you were saying he should have been sacked. >> my view was that the issue that led to the tribunal was serious and should be taken seriously. yes, i expressed the view that
in my view he should have lost his job over it. that did not happen. i accepted the decision of the tribunal. there was no grudge. i did not, as the tribunal found, decide that that was the end of his career. i think both the tribunal and mr. driscoll pick different moments as to when i decided this. another part of mr. does bill's evidence, he said it started with these dory about the arsenal shirt. if i was making decisions about staff and their future on the basis of a failure of a story being lost, three-quarters of staff would have been on disciplinary. that is the nature of the newspaper. in any event, it was a story
about whether arsenal would be wearing a purple shirt. it was not an exclusive about who was the next manager of england. >> later in 2006, this is paragraph 130. do you see that? mr. wallace reported. he was instructed, he stated, i want him out as quickly as cheaply and possible. -- quickly and it cheaply as possible. do you remember that e-mail? >> so much as i have been reminded by it. i do not know the context of it was. i did not know what was before or what followed after.
>> i think what the tribunal is saying is, if you marry up the november 2005 e-mail with the 2006 e-mail, it is consistent. you want this man out. you are pulling him. >> it is not the truth. the first point is to make, i had supported him in trying to get mr. kristol -- mr. iscoll's relationship back on track. he had instituted severance negotiations. tisquantum out as quickly and cheaply as possible. it is in relation to that process. >> you disagree with the
tribunal's findings. >> yes, i do. >> that is as far as i can take that. >> the questions i had for you. was there anything you wanted to say? >> can i make one point in relation to the theory that there was some kind of deal between the news corp. for news international and the conservative party over the issue of b sky b. if there was a deal and there was a conspiracy, why was a one-
man given a job? it is the prime minister's decision to decide to help with brief in his cabinet. there was this conspiracy that david cameron was going to return the favor to news international, why did he give it to a competitive member of the liberal democrat party? >> mr. kimball was already the business secretary in may, 2010, was he not? the deal was before that. it was not announced until june. >> there is a conspiracy that suggests this deal was done before. >> it is an advocacy point rather than a factual point.
can i ask a very different question? you probably, as much if not more than anyone else, have reflected on the issue which is at the core of this particular part of the inquiry. which was set up by the prime minister in july of last year. the issue is whether the relationship between the press and the politicians has become
either close or no longer entirely conducive to good government, which ever way you want to put it. whether this happened many years ago, whether it is a constants of the involvement of those who have been very heavily concerned with newspapers into the heart of communications and government. i would like your view on whether that relationship has become too close so that it gets in the way. and how that should be addressed if you have a view on it?
>> the prime minister has said he accepts that he got too cozy. i am not minded to disagree with him. it is clear as a result of this process that relationships with the media got in the way of the message. let's put it that way. that is clear. what you do about it is much more difficult. i would hate to think that, i am not suggesting this is on your mind, i would hate to think that any barriers would be erected, more barriers would be erected between politics or politicians, politics, more importantly, and the press. you only have to look at the turnout at last week's elections, which was low, to say the least. people are disengaging with politics. if you make it more difficult for the media to report, if you make it more difficult for journalists to understand what
you are trying to do, that is going to get worse. some people miss a turn up is because of this inquiry. because of the reaction. i am not sure i buy that theory. i come from the perspective of someone who has worked on both sides of the fence. i hope, with respect, that the result of this part of the inquiry does not erect more barriers between what is already a difficult process. >> if you had heard what i said earlier today, you would know that i am very keen on insuring that politicians have a mechanism to identify what their policies are and in gates the
public in them. and that journalists have the ability and responsibility to hold politicians and others to account for what they do. the question is, hal to ensure that happens in an open, transparent, and appropriate way. it may be you have not got an answer. if, from your experience, working both sides of the fence, you do have a view, it is not going to bind me. you did not need to worry about it. i would be interested to hear it. if not, then not. >> it is difficult. one point that troubles me, if i can say this, is the idea that a
french ship -- friendship is 0 is based on an ulterior motive. >> i am not sure that is fair. equally i have said many times that politicians and journalists are entitled to be friends with people. the thing is to differentiate and be clear about the difference between social relationships and any form of business. >> i think that what has happened over the course of the last couple of years, the last year or so, i think it is going
to solve that problem for you. i think the possibility of politicians not being transparent about their dealings with the media, i think the events that have come to pass will go a long way in dealing with that. >> if i can be insured that the very fact of the last seven months had achieved the purpose so that i could go back to productive judicial work, i might be quite pleased with that. >> i would not